Beyond CPanel - Control Panel Options

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Although cPanel is the most popular control panel amongst webmasters and webhosts, there are still many other options for users that are looking for an alternative control panel for their hosting accounts. While we can’t offer a description for every possible control panel available, we can describe some of the more common ones, as we’ve done so below.

Directadmin: Directadmin supports most Linux operating systems including Redhad Linux 7.2-9.0, Fedora 1-8, CentOS 3.0- 6.x, FreeBSD 4.7-8.x and Debian 4.0-6.0. It enables you to run applications, scripts and programming languages like PHP,  Apache, FrontPage, PhpMyAdmin (MySQL database manager), MySQL etc. Customer support for this product is offered by email, live chat (though not always active), their forum and knowledgebase.  Based on appearances alone, Directadmin has a simple design with few icons organized by main account features, email and advanced features. General account information is visible in a panel on the right side.

Choosing and deciding upon a control panel is generally only of relevance for VPS and dedicated servers, where you have management over the server

Interworx: Interworx is most often used as a control panel for Linux VPS and dedicated servers. The latest version released is InterWorx 4.8.0.  There are two types of of Interworx: SiteWorx, used by the normal website user and NodeWorx, which is used by system admins and resellers. Interworx can be used to create a load balanced cluster of servers, as well as for domain management, email management, package management, and systems server management. The software offers support for API and Ruby on Rails. It includes MySQL databases, a DNS server, FTP server, NFS server, website stats and logs, as well as security through a firewall. Customer support is available through user forums, support tickets, knowledgebase, and end-user documentation.

Kloxo: Kloxo makes it possible to manage all hosting from one page. The control panel supports Cento OS 5, Apache/lighttpd, djbdns/bind, and pure-ftpd. It includes extensive backend support and management of the entire account, domains, sub domains, databases, FTP servers, email accounts, stats, and server functions.  Different versions of Kloxo exist for the administrator, reseller, and the domain owner.

Many webhosts will offer the option of using Plesk to manage your website, especially if you have a website built in Windows

Plesk (Parallels Plesk Control Panel): Outside of cPanel, Plesk is the most common control panel. Many webhosts will offer the option of using Plesk to manage your website, especially if you have a website built in Windows, although Plesk does work with both Linux and Windows operating systems. The design and layout is a bit more cluttered than others and instead of having all of the main features on one page, it has multiple tabs for categories like users, websites & domains, mail, applications, statistics, and account information. For additional support, Parallels has a knowledge base, troubleshooting assistant, forum, documentation, online chat and phone support. 

vDeck: The lastest version of vDeck, version 4.0 enables website management and building with a drag and drop site builder, FTP management tools, email management from MailCentral, domain management from DomainCentral, marketing tools to promote your site, web stats and installation wizards for easy installation of many open source applications. It has a simple interface with main features visible on the main page and account information listed on the right side of the screen.  Some clients that currently use  vDeck include IPOWER, iPage, FatCow, Startlogic, and Powweb hosting. 

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